Alexander Gray (1856-1940) – His Obituary

Here is a transcription of the obituary for Alexander Gray, date and newspaper unknown. (His mother’s name was Judah Arena, not Irene.)


Our community was saddened to hear of the passing of Alex Gray at his home in Craig, Tuesday, December 31, 1940 at 4pm.
He had a long lingering illness but bore his suffering with patience and fortitude. All that loving hands and hearts and medical skill could do was of no avail.

Alexander Gray was born June 24, 1856, near Gower in Buchanan County, Mo. and attained the age of 84 years, 6 months, and 7 days.

His parents, Franklin and Irene Gray, were pioneers in Buchanan County. Mr. Gray was the fourth child in a family of four boys and one girl. When he was eight years old his parents died, and he and his brother, Simian, were taken into the home of a maternal uncle, Dr. Simian Parrish, then a pioneer physician of Holt County living at his farm home three miles north of Craig.

These little boys were loved and nurtured by their foster parents and given all the advantages they could give their own children.
Mr. Gray grew to manhood in this home, and engaged in farming.

He was married to Rose A. Browning July 18, 1877. His companion passed away Nov. 30, 1938. They established their home on a farm five miles north of Craig and continued to reside in this community until 1912, when they retired from the farm and moved to Craig.

To this union were born four children. Edgar of Craig, Mrs. Allen Bowersox of Reserve, Kans., Miss Erma of the home, and a daughter, Orpha, who died in infancy.

Other survivors are nine grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild, and a number of nieces and nephews.

Mr. Gray and his wife were charter members of Sharp’s Grove Baptist Church. He was ever loyal and true to his faith and to his church, having held office in the capacity of deacon for more than 35 years. By thrift and industry he had accumulated considerable property in houses and lands. He was also a stockholder in the Bank of Craig.

He was a man of high moral character, sterling qualities and steadfast principles. Ever mindful of the right.
He was devoted to his home and his family, loved and respected by his friends and neighbors. With his passing the family loses a devoted father and grandfather and the community an upright citizen.

Funeral services were conducted in the M. E. Church Friday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock by a former pastor of the Sharp’s Grove Church, Rev. G. A. Puckett of Kingston, Mo., who read an impressive and beautiful discourse of which the theme was “The Christian’s Life, the Faith, and the Final Reward – Eternal Life.” The speaker paid a beautiful tribute to the exemplary daily life of the deceased as he trod the milestones along life’s highway with his fellowmen.

A choir composed of Rev. and Mrs. Earl A. Ogle, Mrs. Fred Walkup and Mr. Horn sang the hymns, “Whispering Hope,” “Sunrise Tomorrow,” and “Shall We Gather at the River,” with Miss Lena Lawrence at the piano. The floral offerings, gifts of friends and relatives, were profuse and beautiful.

The body-bearers were grandsons of the deceased: Dean, Carl, Don, Ralph and Harold Gray and W. H. Cooper.

The great granddaughters bore the flowers: Wilma and Dorothy Griffin, Beatrice Cooper and Clarissa Gray.

The remains were laid tenderly to rest in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery , there to await the Master’s call.

The pains of death have ceased,
Labor and sorrow cease.
And life’s long warfare closed at last.
His soul is found in peace.
Soldier of Christ well done.
Praise be the new employ,
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in the Savior’s joy.

Relatives and friends from a distance were:
Mr. Lon Gray and wife, Mr. Norman Gray and wife, Mr. Ben Moore and wife, Mr. Wyman Gray and wife, Mr. Roy Gray, Bryan Weakley and wife all of Gower.

Charles Williams and wife, Carl Gray and wife, Dean Gray and family, W. H. Cooper and family, Miss Minnie Gray, Mrs. Earl Wing, Jewell Gibson and wife, all of St. Joseph.

Fred Krull and wife, Easton, and O. C. Gray of Omaha, Nebr.

A. E. Bowersox and wife, Misses Anna and Martha Stewart and Mrs. S. B. Stewart of Reserve, Kans.; Mrs. Dan Chaney of Falls City, Neb., George Jones and wife of Horton, Kans., H. H. Browning, S. F. Williams and wife, and Glenn Davis and wife all of Fairfax.

J. L. Browning and wife, M. Browning, Ed Browning, and Mrs. Asa Hollenbeck all of Mound City.

We wish to thank our many friends, relatives and neighbors for the sympathy and helpfulness shown in the death of our father, also for the flowers; to the choir for the rendition of the beautiful music and for the use of cars.
F. E. Gray and family, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Bowersox, and Miss Erma Gray

Franklin William Gray (1821-1864) & Judah Arena Parrish (1823-1864)

Updated October 2020.

Franklin & Judah are Todd’s great great great grandparents.

Franklin Judah GrayFranklin William Gray was born May 25, 1821 in North Carolina. His mother was Catherine Gatsey Wadworth and his father is unknown. I wrote about her here.

Judah Arena Parrish was born January 29, 1823 in North Carolina. Her parents were Ansel Parrish and Winifred Cashett.

I haven’t found marriage records, but it is thought that Franklin and Judah married in North Carolina before moving to Missouri. Some report the date of 30 Oct 1846 in Randolph County. Franklin’s brother Robert Wadsworth Holmes married Judah’s sister Sarah Ann Parrish, and it is thought they too married just before leaving North Carolina.

Son William was born in 1848 in Missouri. Son Benjamin was born in 1850.

On the 1850 US Census, Franklin was 29 and Judah was 25. They lived in Buchanan County, Missouri. Son William was 2 and son Benjamin was a newborn. Also living in the house was Franklin’s mother, Catherine Wadsworth, age 27, and Jesse Hill, age 22, born in North Carolina. Franklin and Jesse were farming. In the next household was Franklin’s brother William Wadsworth and his family. Two households after that was Franklin’s brother Robert Holmes and his family.

Son Simeon was born in 1852 and son Alexander was born in 1856.

On the 1860 US Census, Franklin was 38 and Judah was 36. William was 12, Benjamin was 10, Simeon was 8, Alexander was 4. Also living in the home were Martha Wiese, age 17, and William Cooley, age 45, a traveling merchant from York State.

Daughter Sarah Elizabeth was born in 1861 and daughter Mary Jane was born in 1862 and died in 1863.

Franklin died on April 28, 1864 in Buchanan County, Missouri. His Find A Grave memorial is here. Judah died on August 19, 1864 in Buchanan County, Missouri. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

The children of Franklin William Gray & Judah Arena Parrish:

William Linsey Gray – William was born January 5, 1848 in Buchanan County, Missouri. He was 16 when his parents died, and I don’t know where he spent the next 5 years. He married Mary Ryherd on February 18, 1869 in Buchanan County, Missouri. They had 7 children. He died March 15, 1938 in Buchanan County, Missouri. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Benjamin Franklin Gray – Benjamin was born on January 15, 1850. He was 14 when his parents died, and I don’t know where he spent the next 10 years. He married Mary Elizabeth Lowrie on September 24, 1874 in Buchanan County, Missouri. They had 7 children. He died on September 15, 1929 in Buchanan County, Missouri. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Simeon H. Gray – Simeon was born June 29, 1852 in Buchanan County, Missouri. His parents died when he was almost 12, and he was raised, along with his brother Alexander, by his mother’s brother, Dr. Simeon Parrish, in Holt County, Missouri. He married Margaret Ann Synder in 1885. They had 7 children. Simeon worked as a merchant. He died March 14, 1931 in Buchanan County. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Alexander Gray – Alex is Todd’s great great grandfather. You can read more about him here. Also, I’ve posted many postcards that were sent to him and his family. Find them here.

Sarah Elizabeth Gray – Sarah was born January 20, 1861 in Buchanan County, Missouri. She was 3 years old when her parents died, and was raised by her father’s brother Robert Wadsworth Holmes and his wife Sarah Ann Parrish Holmes, who was her mother’s sister. They farmed in Buchanan County, Missouri. Sarah married Robert Carson on January 26, 1856 in Buchanan County, but he died of consumption on November 6, 1883. They had no children. Sarah married George Robinson Hines on March 27, 1889, and they had 3 children. Two died as infants. They farmed in Buchanan County, Missouri. She died on March 22, 1931 in Buchanan County, Missouri. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Mary Jane Gray – According to family records, Mary was born in November of 1862 and died in April of 1863, in Buchanan County, Missouri.